Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:12-15 (NIV)
We make a grave mistake when we begin to think we are static people. Indeed, we will either be going forward, progressing towards holiness or backwards, digressing towards sin and depravity – be it fast or slow or subtle. There is no neutral ground in which we can bask, Amen? We grow forwards into Christlikeness or backwards into wallowing in the pig pen of our own poor choices. And God tells us we are to combat the sinful nature by continually putting it to death every time it seeks to raise its ugly head.
There is no doubt about it, as long as we are on this side of heaven believers will battle sin, self and Satan and sometime the battles will be fierce. Take a stand for righteousness and depend upon the One Who has promised us in Scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” Always, always when tempted, look for the door of escape – the way out - so that you may be able to stand your ground against the adversary’s schemes.
Sinfulness will spread and increase in one’s life unless it is effectively checked by our conscious efforts and prayer for the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us fight the good fight of faith. Satan and the flesh are both wily and do not give a whit about us. We are not to put our trust in them rather flee from them as one flees from a striking serpent. They are not our friend. Satan wants our demise and the earthly fleshly nature avoids the notion of being held accountable for this one life we have been given. They live for today – for these 70-100 brief years (more or less) that might be given. The righteous live for the future – storing up things that do not rust or destroy – things that no one can break in and steal. The truly valuable – the pearls of great price.
God’s Word calls us each to action – no exceptions. All our thoughts and hearts lay open in His sight. There is no tricking the Master. The eye of God is more to be regarded than the eye of man as He considers every filthy, covetous, proud, ambitious, unloving, and malicious thought. Keep a tender conscience to be aware of the smallest sin and flee from it and flee to Him Who cleanses and forgives. Remember, a tender conscience fears evil thoughts and actions whereas a seared conscience feels nothing.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:19-21 (NIV)